ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal has said that the first phase of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will be completed by 2018.

Iqbal said that Pakistan and China are working closely and wholeheartedly to implement CPEC projects in speediest manner. Both sides are in constant touch through forums under CPEC framework and are moving ahead smoothly and promptly to complete CPEC projects. The minister further said that both sides realized the importance of CPEC for their own interests and for the benefit of whole the region to integrate it economically for social and economic uplift of three billion people of the region.

He said that there is unanimity in file and ranks of Pakistani society that CPEC is a historical opportunity for sustained economic development and inclusive prosperity of the country and we must capitalize on it through a united approach. Pakistan political leadership, civilian government and military leadership, time and again, demonstrated their commitment to completion of CPEC. “They are all on the same page for a bigger national cause,” Ahsan Iqbal stated and added that declarations of two All Parties Conferences (APCs) on CPEC bear testimony to this fact.

Iran is ready to become part of CPEC: Iranian ambassador

Online: Iranian ambassador in Pakistan Mehdi Hoonardoost has said his country is ready to become part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The ambassador said Iran and Pakistan have common interests and both are tied into the bonds of brotherhood and friendly ties, but the volume of trade between the two countries is not proportionate to level of friendship. He underlined that Iran and Pakistan are working on different mega projects and Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project is also one of these projects. Iran is ready to extend help to Pakistan in energy sector, he added.